An Lòchran digital centre opened in Inverness

A new facility in Inverness, opened this week by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, is to be a model for collaboration between enterprise, education and research. The £13m building on Inverness Campus is named An Lòchran, Gaelic for The Lamp/Lantern.

It is shared by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the University of the Highlands and Islands and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). It also houses the country’s first digital demonstration centre, #hellodigital, aimed at encouraging small businesses to make the most of broadband and digital technology.

An Lòchran has Potential for 940 new jobs

“It is a pleasure to be able to return to Inverness Campus to open the new enterprise and research centre, An Lòchran,” said Swinney. “The name is extremely fitting for the newest addition to the site, which aims to lead the way in highlighting collaborative working between the enterprise, education and research sectors.”

The Inverness Campus project has attracted more than £100m of investment, and independent research has shown that it has potential to support up to 1,300 jobs on site and create 940 new jobs across the Highlands and Islands over the next five years.

#hellodigital promoting increased digital engagement

“I am also pleased to be able to officially launch #hellodigital the new demonstration centre, supported through our Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership, and located in An Lòchran,” added Swinney.

“It aims to promote the benefits of increased digital engagement to help Scotland fulfil its potential in an increasingly digital age and has already seen a fantastic programme of events, exhibitions and talks attracting speakers from Google, Microsoft and IBM.”

‘Collaboration between business, research and academia’

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HIE, said: “We are delighted to be located in this stuning building. Our vision from the outset has been for Inverness Campus to encourage collaboration between business, research, academia and the wider community.

Inverness Campus is one of Scotland’s most ambitious projects. Its development is led by HIE to support the further expansion of some of the region’s key sectors with a particular focus on life sciences. The site has been specifically designed to encourage collaboration between business, research and academia, both within the campus and with neighbouring organisations such as LifeScan Scotland, Raigmore Hospital and the Centre for Health Science.